This seminar will provide a space for different groups to reflect on the policing of Covid in Ireland
This webinar will engage with representatives of different community groups about their experiences of policing and engagement by An Garda Síochána during Covid. For communities Covid has brought new crime challenges: while burglaries and assaults on the person have fallen, reported domestic violence has increased by over 25% and other crimes such as cyber crime are also increasing. Adapting to these sudden changes, while also supporting government efforts to limit the spread of the virus, present substantial challenges for policing.
The Policing Authority’s 3rd report to the Minister reported some exceptional feedback from groups that it had spoken to:
“Increased Garda visibility, engagement and proactivity were cited across the majority of the various organisations as characterising the policing response. Garda visibility within the community and engagement with individuals and community groups was credited with contributing towards a greater sense of security in the community. Reference was made to the current policing response as representing a return to ‘knowing your local guard’ and ‘community policing as it used to be’. Feedback from a broad range of stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive regarding engagement with Community Gardaí since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. It was reported that new relationships are being developed with community guards.”
It is important to pause and reflect on the exceptional positives being achieved by AGS in present circumstances. Few countries can report such positive engagement with the community under these restricted circumstances – it is a remarkable achievement that needs to be reflected on. On the other hand concerns have been raised by bodies like the Policing Authority, IHREC and the ICCL on the use of spit hoods and the recording of data on the use of powers.
This seminar will aim to explore these issues by listening to those who have directly experienced those changes, and engaging with those tasked with overseeing policing. What changes are people noticing? What about the Garda approach has resulted in such positive commentary? Are these positives being experienced consistently across the country? What groups are not experiencing this change? How can we ensure that we capture and preserve the positives, rather than slip backwards?
The seminar will take place online on Friday 12 June 2020 between 3.00pm-4.30pm
- Caitriona Gleeson, Programme and Communications Manager, Safe Ireland
- Shalom Binchy, criminal defence solicitor
- Seán Moynihan, CEO Alone
- Bob Collins, Chair of the Policing Authority
The event will be moderated by Dr Vicky Conway, Associate Professor, School of Law and Government, DCU